Psychology of Colour – Blue

Part of the ‘Psychology of Colour’ series

Blue is the worlds favourite colour. It has been linked to trustworthiness, competence & dependability, but has also been used to describe feeling down or low, so what is it that makes this colour just so popular in interior design?

Living room here at Life and House Design

In the 17th Century, blue and white porcelain was brought here by the Dutch East India Company and was immediately in huge demand. The classic combination of blue and white is seen pretty much everywhere – think about the logos of Facebook & Twitter, the sky, the clothes we wear (classic jeans and white t-shirt), the plates we eat on, and so much more so is it any surprise that we are drawn to it when designing our home.

Dark shades of blue, such as navy & indigo, are powerful shades that dispute the reputation of blue as being ‘cold’. Blue is actually the colour of communication and is often seen in the background wall of business people on conference calls.

So what can you pair with the colour blue?

Dark shades of blue sit happily with pale shades of cornflower & grey, where there are no stark contrasts but instead calm simple lines inviting you to relax in the simple yet strong colour combination. Dark blues also sit well with yellow – being its opposite on the colour wheel. Depending on the shade of darker blue a pairing with yellow or orange can be a real wow in any room. When I talk about ‘pairing’ I don’t mean just paint, I’m thinking about the room as a whole – the furniture, the accessories, the paintings, the walls & the floors.

Image of dark shade of blue paired with orange from http://www.love-your-home.co.uk

Paler shades of blue such as sky blue are tricky to work with to make sure that instead of cold feelings you aim for calm. Creating a palette that pairs a cool blue with pale greens and crisp whites can make a space feel light and airy and not cold at all. These shades of blue are very calming when placed in bedrooms.

Image from Kit Kemp at the Firmdale Hotel

Blue is incredibly fashionable at the moment and that brings with it a huge choice of shades that retailers are using giving you plenty of opportunity to get it right and choose ones that really sing out to you. Don’t forget to get samples if you can and test the colour out at all times of day so you can see the change in shade depending on the light flooding the room.

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